But don’t believe all the rumours; whilst some know better than to fall victim to them, there are several stories about the spirit that still exist.
Here, we take a look at some of the more popular myths and set the record straight:
Tequila is just for shots
The most persistent (and hardest to shake)! A tonne of sophisticated, tequila-based cocktails prove otherwise. According to author of How The Gringos Stole Tequila, Chantal Martineau, tequila drinkers “get the best experience out of a white-wine glass, or anything where there’s enough room between the liquid and your face so you can pick up the aromatics”.
Tequila and mezcal are made the same way
Whilst tequila is a mezcal, there’s one inherent difference – tequila can be made only from Weber Blue Agave, whereas mezcal can be made from a variety of agaves.
If it’s good tequila, there’ll be a worm in the bottle
According to tequila expert Lucia Rodriguez, Tequila Expert and Brand Associate for Milagro Tequila, there is literally no worm in any tequila that is bottled in Mexico. “Some American brands of tequila will put a worm in the bottle as a marketing tactic to boost sales, but why this custom was started is not quite clear,” she said. “One legend has it that the worm at the bottom of the bottle is a sign that the tequila is a high-proof alcohol. It is believed that if the proof is high enough, the worm will stay preserved. But truth be told, top-quality bottles tend not to include a worm, or any other creature for that matter!”
Silver and gold tequilas are superior
Although some brands slap these labels on their bottles, silver tequila is simply another name for blanco (colourless, unaged tequila). According to Marcello Mendoza, tequila expert at The Ritz-Carlton, “gold tequila is usually clear and unaged but with added colouring only”.
You can’t pair foods with tequila
Again, lies. Whilst most people think tequila should only be paired with tacos, burritos and tostadas, gourmet chefs are learning to incorporate and infuse many of their dishes with the strong spirit. Perfectly complementing seafood and citrus-based foods, tequila pairs well with poultry and pork-based dishes, along with hot and spicy foods, neutralised by the unique, woody flavour some tequilas boast. Many herbs and spices can be enhanced with the use of tequila, such as citrus, lemon, lime, cinnamon, cumin, peppercorn and cayenne.